There are big divides within the wing community over what makes the best wing. Some prefer their wings grilled with Cajun spices, while others enjoy breaded with barbeque sauce, and then there are those who prefer their wings naked and smothered in the liquid fire. While there are countless other combinations, I find myself gravitating towards the breaded and spicy.
With the fall of many great wing places within the past few years, things may look dim for those looking for the Holy Trinity of football atmosphere: great wings, flowing beer, and televisions. There better be large televisions, and lots of them, because if my team is doing poorly, I want to know that some other team is doing worse.
I sat down to chat over a few Yuenglings with my friend and local expert, Ry "The Wing Guy", to find Tallahassee's greatest wing joint. The man has been around the proverbial block quite a few times in search of wings. Before we got down to the nitty gritty, he prefaced that he liked his wings breaded, wet, and "as hot as any mortal man can possibly make it." I've heard people brag about loving spicy things but I've seen this man drink many a hot sauce bottle to display his iron palate.
He started off telling me about his first true love, Chubby's Chicken Fingers. "When I first arrived in Tallahassee," he explained, "this drive-thru of fried chicken became my Mecca. The wings they have there are nothing short of incredible. I've yet to introduce anyone yet who disagrees, even those heathens who prefer their wings to be naked and garlic flavored." It's conveniently located next to Beer Barn. I've been to Chubby's many times and their wings are very meaty and saucy. A true indicator of a wing's greatness is the number of napkins you need to clean yourself up. This venue offers delicious wings but only gives you the option of taking them home. Great for those people who love to really go to town on wings in the comfort of their own home.
There is also Wing Stop. I know it's a chain and not unique to Tallahassee, but they serve some really solid wings. Ryan, being drawn to fiery sauces, raved about how their hot sauce was actually a force to be reckoned with. "I feel like no matter how hot a restaurant says their wings are, they still taste mild at best." Wing Stop's Atomic Wings really live up to their name. They're too hot for me, but Ryan swears by them. "Get them wet if you want to put hair on your chest."
Calico Jacks topped the list as having Tallahassee's greatest wings. Ryan actually introduced me to this establishment a few months ago. I knew this place was a big deal because he chose it for his birthday dinner. A wing connoisseur would only choose the greatest wing joint to host a celebration of his birth. It's been around for over 23 years and is located on North East Capital Circle. Calico Jacks advertizes itself as an oyster bar, but I must say that they need to make some room on their sign for the wings. These earthly delights are huge and meaty. Ryan encouraged me to get the wings breaded and wet because "the breading is delectable when it becomes soaked in their wing sauce ambrosia."
Calico Jack's is definitely worth checking out. I'd say come for the oysters but stay for the wings. I'd definitely recommend stopping by on a Wednesday for all you can eat wings for around $10, and of course on any night there's a game. They've got some tasty brews to wash down those spicy wings.